Verizon’s LTE Coming 2009, Sprint PWND

by Rob on December 11th, 2008

The Chief Technology Officer of Sprint’s XOHM effort, Barry West, will soon be eating his own words. Only a few months ago in Baltimore, Sprint hailed their XOHM branded WiMax technology as the next king of wireless connectivity and West bragged, “no company has the infrastructure to even CREATE a competitve answer to WiMax in the next 2 years.”

Now last time I checked, October 8th, 2008 was part of the year 2008… we can agree to that, right? And mathematically speaking, the time between that date and the last possible day in the year 2009 is about 1 year and 3 months, right?

Sorry Mr. West, but Verizon has just announced they will deploy their 4G LGE technology by the end of 2009, rendering your calculations useless. Furthermore, it spells big trouble for WiMax and the newly formed Clearwire brand – Clear. With only 3 of the 5 billion needed to take WiMax national and only a couple cities currently connected, the companies “first mover advantage” plan seems to be backfiring.

For Verizon this all seems like really, really good news. The bad news is the fact that WiMax and Clearwire have some pretty darn big financial supporters that might be looking in the rearview with their finger on the nitrus oxide. Google and Comcast among others aren’t likely to just watch their hundreds of millions of dollars go to waste. No sireee.

The groundwork must be laid NOW for Clearwire if they want to be in this battle for the long haul. That means building out the network and expanding to as many cities as possible right now. No waiting. It means branding the service so customers already know what it is by the time it arrives to their city – they’ll have to be creative in these financial times. And expanding the capabilities with an Android handset couldn’t hurt.

Kevin C. Tofel from jkontherun seems to share similar sentiments… while I love the XOHM/WiMax concept and service, they’re going to have to make impressive strides very quickly to retain the shrinking advantage they currently possess. Tofel also makes a good point that LTE was at one point expected to hit in 2010… if Verizon PR dogs are moving the “plans” one month forward to December 2009 it sounds like a MUCH bigger deal than it really is.

The next year are two should see the start of some technology wars of epic proportions. You’ve got Chrome entering the browser wars, Android and Apple entering the mobile OS wars, Facebook/Twitter and everyone’s mother entering the social networking and social media wars and the battle for mobile/wireless connectivity where WiMax and LTE will go head to head in the 4G world.

[Via Yahoo Technology]

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